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Top-tier loyalty status is a beautiful thing! Over the course of two weeks, I was able to earn Platinum status with Marriott and Starwood, as well as Silver status with United and Crossover benefits with Delta! I will show you how you can fast track the Marriott Platinum Challenge. Then I will explain how to leverage that status for benefits with Starwood, United, and Delta. Let’s get going…
What is the Marriott Platinum Challenge?
Earning Platinum status the “old fashioned way” requires 75 NIGHTS!! Fortunately, Marriott offers Gold Elite members the opportunity to “challenge” for Platinum status. For the Platinum Challenge, you need to complete NINE STAYS in 90 DAYS to earn Platinum status. Your status will be valid from the date you complete the challenge, through the following year!
If you do not currently have Gold status, you can earn SPG Gold with the American Express Platinum card (Personal or Business – See our Top Offers menu). Then, you can link your SPG account to your Marriott account to match the status.
Now that you’re Marriott Gold, you should send a message via this contact form. In the message, request approval for the Platinum Challenge. You should hear back within a couple days confirming your eligibility and detailing the requirements.
Note: Starwood also offers a Platinum Challenge, but it requires 18 nights to complete.
How to Fast Track the Challenge
I only recommend that you request the Platinum Challenge if you have stays coming up. If you travel for work or have a low-cost Marriott property nearby, this can work well for you.
Recall that the challenge requires you to complete NINE STAYS. To log a “stay,” you must check in, stay at least one night, and then check out. This means that each stay can be a single night. Unfortunately, you cannot log nine consecutive nights at the same property by checking out and back in each day. Marriott is too smart for all that, but…
You can change properties each night to log separate stays. Two nearby properties, nine nights… Platinum status!
How I Did It
A recent work assignment required me to spend two weeks in Grand Forks, ND… I know, I know – hold your jealousy, please! Marriott has a couple properties in Grand Forks – A Springhill Suites and a Fairfield Inn. For the first nine nights of my work trip, I bounced between the two hotels each night.
Fortunately, I’ve gotten into packing light, so I only had a single bag. I would check out in the morning, toss my bag in the rental car, and check into a different hotel the next evening. After nine “stays,” I received an email indicating that I had completed the Platinum Challenge and that I would have Marriott Platinum status until February 2019!!
The next step is to leverage the newly earned Platinum status for benefits with other programs…
Starwood Preferred Guest Platinum
Earlier, I mentioned that Marriott and SPG will match status if your accounts are linked. A couple days after my Marriott account updated to Platinum, I received an email congratulating me on my new SPG Platinum status!
SPG Platinum is one of the more valuable top tier statuses. The most valuable benefits, in my opinion, include a welcome gift (including breakfast), upgrade to the best available room at check-in (including suites), and club lounge access.
These benefits will be particularly useful during our upcoming Round-the-World trip, because we are staying at SPG properties in Kona, Seoul, Bangkok, the Maldives, Cairo, and Athens! The Sheraton Maldives already upgraded us to an Overwater Bungalow prior to arrival! We will also have access to the club lounge with cocktails, breakfast, and evening hors d’oeuvres.
United MileagePlus Premier Silver Status
United Airlines offers complimentary Premier Silver status for Marriott Platinum members. Visit this link to learn more about the status match. Benefits of Premier Silver status include access to Economy Plus seats at check in and the possibility of First/Business class upgrades on the day of travel.
We have a few upcoming award flights on United. To be eligible for upgrades on award flights, you also must hold the Chase United MileagePlus Explorer credit card. Fortunately, I am a cardholder! Fingers crossed that we get upgraded.
Delta Crossover Awards
Starwood Platinum members have access to Delta Crossover Awards. Similar to the United Silver status, this offers Priority Check-in, Priority Boarding, a free checked bag, and the potential for complementary upgrades.
Fast tracking the Marriott Platinum Challenge can be a great opportunity to earn top tier status at Marriott and Starwood in as few as nine nights! I’ll admit that changing hotels every night for a week-and-a-half wasn’t fun, but it will pay major dividends going forward.
Having Platinum status effectively increases the value of award points with Marriott and SPG. You can earn 25,000 points when you get the SPG Personal or SPG Business card. Marriott also offers an 80,000-point bonus on their Personal and Business cards. (See our Top Offers Menu for more information.)
Will you give the Marriott Platinum Challenge a try?